Numinen’s influence felt by Sabres

‘“It’s a special time for everybody who starts their career,” the 40-year-old Numminen, announced today as the Sabres’ 2008-09 nominee for the Bill Masterton Trophy following his comeback this season from open-heart surgery, said Monday after the Sabres practiced at HSBC Arena. “I just try to do the same things I always did just giving the support and confidence. I’m not going to change.”’

Buffalo Sabres: 2008-09 Top 12 Prospects

‘Over the next couple of drafts, the Sabres must focus up front, as they are now lacking serious depth and talent at the forward position.’

Kaleta back at it

‘“It’s in that gray area,” Ruff said, addressing whether or not the injury was a concussion. “As long as he’s had a good day he’s cleared to play.”’

Numminen nominated for Masterson Trophy

‘“[At first] you just want to survive, you just want to be a normal parent for your kids… not be a professional athlete. I wasn’t even thinking about that. That came later when I realized I could be a normal parent and do the normal things with the family and everyday routines. This is just extra for myself and I’m thankful for that to be back and playing in the professional league.”’

Sabres finding results, in depth

‘The Sabres are receiving production from nearly every spot in the lineup. Players from three lines have become score sheet regulars, something that has helped the team win three straight games heading into Wednesday’s visit to Atlanta.’

Numminen nominated for Masterton

‘"It was a lot of stuff [in the past 19 months]. After the surgery you just want to survive. You just want to be a normal parent for your kids, just be a normal street guy, regular parent, not be a professional athlete. I wasn’t even thinking about that. That came later when I realized I could be a normal parent and just do the normal things with the family, just everyday routines."’

Fantastic Finnish

‘In the postgame show, inexplicably asked about a move he didn’t make, Lydman has the perfect comic retort. “The key was there was no move,” he deadpans.’

Sabres’ Sekera to lose spot to Numminen

‘"There’s a good chance that he’s going to have to watch because it hasn’t been a one-game struggle or a two-game," Ruff said. "It’s been a good period of time, and he’s having a tough time. We need to win games. I’m thinking right now that Teppo would go in."’

Good news for Kaleta

‘The Sabres Head Coach reported that, pending some tests, Pat Kaleta may be able to rejoin the team for Tuesday’s practice and could be available for Wednesday’s game in Atlanta.’

Sabres rest, reload for homestretch

‘Consider it the calm before the storm. Not only do the Sabres face a frantic finish, it’s a contender-filled finale.’

Monday’s Portland Coverage

Sports Digest (Portland Press Herald)

Springfield Falcons fight back but fall to Portland (Springfield Republican)

Pirates squeak by last place Falcons, 4-3 (Maine Hockey Journal)

Pirates Battle for 4-3 Win Over Falcons (PortlandPirates.com)

Falcons drop 4-3 decision to Pirates (FalconsAHL.com)

Sabres look to catch Habs’ playoff spot

‘"There’s still a lot of hockey left to play. It’s a race to 82 games, so there are points to be had and we know we’re in a battle. We feel we can compete, even if we’re down. Those types of games are going to be good for us."’

Status quo won’t get Sabres to the promised land

‘One option in Buffalo is firing Regier and replacing him with a general manager who would determine Ruff’s future. Quinn has been adamant about the goal, winning the Cup. Assuming he’s serious, he should want an aggressive GM who isn’t enamored with his own players, someone who is the direct opposite of Regier.’

Lydman helps Sabres catch a break

‘The Sabres trail Montreal by four points with seven games remaining, while ninth-place Florida sits three points ahead.’

Kaleta sustains concussion

‘"Their doctors deemed him to have a concussion," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "That’s disappointing. When a player’s got his back turned, it’s disappointing. He took a tough blow there. You hope that it’s dealt with."’